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Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the state of industrial relations at her Department's office in Worcester; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Despite the current pay dispute involving the Public and Commercial Services Union, we are continuing to maintain working relations with them and other DEFRA unions.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely implications of industrial action at her Department's office in Worcester for the efficient delivery of services by that office; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the industrial action carried out by staff employed at her Department's regional offices at (a) Crewe, (b) Nottingham and (c) Bristol; and what assessment she has made of the industrial action's effect on the (i) despatch and (ii) processing of (A) agricultural claim forms and (B) payments for farmers. 
Mr. Morley: DEFRA Ministers receive regular reports on the impacts on the Department and we are determined to manage the consequences responsibly, taking account of the needs of our customers the taxpayer and the long-term working relations in the Department. Our aim is to resolve the current dispute as quickly as possible.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in establishing local access forums; and if she will make a statement. 
Alun Michael: I am pleased to say that we are making significant progress. On 31 July I published a consultation document on proposals for regulations to establish local access forums under Section 94(1) of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The consultation closed on 23 October. We received around 300 responses, and these will be considered with care when drafting the regulations. I expect the regulations to come into force early next year.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement about the future of livestock farming in the UK. 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 12 November 2001]: DEFRA's objectives are to create a livestock production sector which is sustainable, competitive, responsive to consumer demands and founded on high animal health and welfare standards.
To ensure sustainability we need to have regard to environmental limitations and market limitations. We continue to argue the case for decoupling EC beef and sheep payments from production to enable producers to align their livestock numbers to the carrying capacity of their land and to the likely markets for their produce.
Better marketing is needed to shorten the supply chain between producer and consumer. This should enable producers to be both more competitive and to respond to consumer tastes.
DEFRA is determined to develop a coherent strategy for the identification and tracing of animals to enable diseases to be tackled more effectively and to ensure consumer confidence in animal products. We are also launching the National Scrapie Plan, which is a long-term programme for breeding genetic resistance to scrapie and BSE into the national sheep flock.
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations she has received regarding illegal hare coursing; and if she will make a statement. 
Alun Michael: A number of hon. Members have commented on the problem of illegal hare coursing following the Adjournment Debate initiated by the hon. Member for Wantage (Mr. Jackson) on 29 October 2001, Official Report, columns 72734. In responding to that debate I set out the Government's position on illegal hare coursing.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the special advisers employed by her Department and their relevant qualifications and experience. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 16 November 2001]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has appointed Sheila Watson and Nicci Collins as her special advisers under the terms and conditions set out in the Model Contract for special advisers. Details of the career history of individuals are not disclosed, under exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, to protect the privacy of the individual concerned.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the (a) buildings and (b) lands owned by her Department. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 16 November 2001]: Details of the buildings and land owned by the Department have been placed in the Library of the House.
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Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her head office intends holding a public open day. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 16 November 2001]: The Department has a good record of heritage involvement and has opened the doors of Nobel House, its Grade 2* listed headquarters on Millbank, for the Open House event over the past few years. This has been favourably received by about 2,500 visitors, for whom officials have laid on guided tours, exhibitions and a brochure. This takes considerable pre-planning and unfortunately we could not open the building in September 2001 because of the pressures of foot and mouth disease. We intend to open Nobel House again in the future.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the components and weightings are of the economic tests applied to proposals for (a) coastal protection and (b) flood prevention. 
Mr. Morley: This Department provides funding for coast protection and flood alleviation capital works that meet essential technical, economic and environmental criteria and achieve an appropriate priority score. To ensure that value is obtained for taxpayers' money the economic criteria for all works are that (a) the benefits outweigh the costs and (b) the most economically efficient option, commensurate with achieving an appropriate level of protection, is identified. The most recent guidance for operating authorities on the aspects to be covered in the economic appraisal of both coast protection and flood alleviation schemes was published in 1999.
Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the report of the Quinquennial Review of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has been completed. 
Alun Michael: The review team have completed Stage I of the Quinquennial Review of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This deals with strategic options. I am today depositing a copy of their report in the parliamentary Libraries.
The Government welcome the work of the review team and the scientific visiting group. We shall be replying to the recommendations of both exercises in due course with a formal response and action plan agreed jointly with the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Stage II of the Quinquennial Review is currently in hand.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Prime Minister what the total expenditure was on (a) advertising, (b) polling, (c) focus groups, (d) design consultants, (e) caterers, (f) production of departmental publications and (g) photographs/
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photographers by his Department for each year since 1995 in (i) cash and (ii) real terms; what was (A) the annual percentage increase in spending on each category and (B) spending on each category as a percentage of the total departmental running costs; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office on 19 November 2001, Official Report, columns 8182W.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Prime Minister when the Performance and Innovation Unit will publish its report on resource productivity; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: The Performance and Innovation Unit's report "Resource productivity: making more with less" to Government is being published today. I welcome the report, which will make an important contribution to delivering our goal of sustainable development. The report focuses on how to meet our objectives on economic growth without unacceptable environmental impacts.
Key areas identified in the report for further action include Government procurement; a new approach to sustainable development and resource productivity in small businesses; targeted support for resource productive innovation; and an assessment of long-term indicative targets.
My right hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment will lead on taking forward the implementation and dissemination of the report, in collaboration with colleagues on the ENV(G) Cabinet sub-committee.
Copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House. It is also available on the Cabinet website at www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/innovation.
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